Greenock well beaten by Falkland in final Scottish Cup match

Greenock 1st XI vs Falkland
Scottish Cup
Saturday 14th July 2012

Falkland 254 (2 pts) DA Gray 89, NB Lockyer 75; GJ McDougall 5 for 36, JPC Hempsey 3 for 48
Greenock 1st XI 116 (0 pts) MR Sekhoto 32; BN Ditchman 6 for 21


1st XI cricket resumed after a break of five weeks due to the recent period of wet weather, but unfortunately for Greenock they were well beaten by Falkland at Glenpark on Saturday in their final match in Section E of this year’s Scottish Cup. The result means that not only do the local side not qualify for the knockout stages of the Scottish Cup competition, but the defeat means that they also failed to finish in second top spot in the section and so do not make the knockout stage of the Plate Competition (CS Trophy).

The omens were perhaps not good for Greenock when they were forced to field a team without either of the side’s usual two opening pace bowlers, Richie Berrington and Waleed Jamal, and then also had Dave Sharma, who was drafted in from the 2nd XI to open the bowling, injured in the pre-match warm up. Shailesh Prabhu, Greenock’s normal opening bat, was also unavailable.

Stand-in opening bowlers Jonathan Hempsey and Kieran Begley contained the Falkland batsmen for the first ten overs, conceding just 22 runs, but without gaining any breakthrough. However, a change of bowler brought an almost immediate double wicket haul when Greg McDougall first of all bowled Steven Meikle for 13 and then had Adam Ferguson LBW for 11. McDougall continued to bowl well and picked up a third wicket in just his fifth over when he had Stuart Campbell very well caught by wicketkeeper Alex Baum for just 4 runs and which had the visitors on 61 for 3 after 19 overs.

This wicket brought together the two batsmen who were to change the shape of the game. David Gray and Falkland’s overseas amateur, 20 year old South African Nick Lockyer, put together a stand of 146 runs with some fine shot-making before Gray was bowled by Greenock’s South African professional Mpho Sekhoto for 89.

As so often happens, one wicket leads to another, and just three overs after Gray’s departure, Lockyer was clean bowled by Sam Sanghera for 75.

The damage had been done by this stage, however, as Falkland were well placed on 222 for 5, with six overs of their innings remaining. To Greenock’s credit the last five wickets were mopped up by the return of opening bowler Jonathan Hempsey and triple wicket-taker McDougall, and the visitors were all out in the 50th and final over of the innings for 254.

Greg McDougall finished with a five wicket haul and an analysis of 5 for 36 from nine overs while Jonathan Hempsey took 3 wickets for 48 runs from 9.2 overs.

After losing an early wicket in the just the third over after the tea interval, Greenock began to warm to the task of scoring at the necessary run rate of five an over. Alex Baum and Mpho Sekhoto seemed to have the measure of the Falkland bowling attack and were scoring quite freely until Sekhoto mis-timed a shot and was caught at point by Stuart Campbell off the bowling of Ryan Hepburn with the score on 56 in just the eleventh over. He had scored 32 runs and hit seven boundaries with some fine, well-timed shots.

Alex Baum’s dismissal for 20 in the fourteenth over and the fall of a fourth wicket fairly soon after slowed the run rate, but it was still above four, and if Greenock could have put together a strong partnership as Falkland had during their innings, then the home side would still have been well in the match.

However, this fourth wicket breakthrough exposed Greenock’s batting frailties and the Fifer’s bowlers took advantage of some injudicious shot-making to fairly quickly have the Glenpark side struggling badly. Brock Ditchman, in particular, found success picking up no fewer than six wickets for just 21 runs in an unbroken eight over spell.

The end came in just the 32nd over when Lockyer bowled the injured Sharma and Greenock were all out for 116. The depleted Glenpark side had on the afternoon been no real match for the visitors and were soundly beaten by 138 runs.

Greenock must now concentrate on league business, the second half of which resumes on Saturday with a long trip to Dumfries. Hopefully the players missing from the weekend’s game will be available to strengthen the side, as this game is against one of the best teams in the CSL West Premier Division.

Greenock CC wish to thank the Match Sponsor, Cafe Continental, for their generous support.